Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

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Graph depicting the number of slaves imported from Africa from 1501 to 1866 Graph of the Number of Slaves Imported From Africa.png
Graph depicting the number of slaves imported from Africa from 1501 to 1866

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database is a database run by researchers at Emory University which aims to present all documentary material pertaining to the transatlantic slave trade. It is a sister project to African Origins. [1]


The database breaks down the kingdoms or countries who engaged in the Atlantic trade, summarized in the following table: [2]

SpainPortugalGreat BritainNetherlandsU.S.A.FranceDenmark

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Atlantic slave trade Slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th to the 19th centuries

The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans, or by half-European 'merchant princes' to Western European slave traders, who brought them to the Americas. Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade. The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.

Triangular trade Trade among three ports or regions

Triangular trade or triangle trade is a historical term indicating trade among three ports or regions. Triangular trade usually evolves when a region has export commodities that are not required in the region from which its major imports come. Triangular trade thus provides a method for rectifying trade imbalances between the above regions.

Atlantic World interactions of coastal societies during the age of European colonization of the Americas and Africa

The Atlantic World comprises the interactions among the peoples and empires bordering the Atlantic Ocean rim from the beginning of the Age of Discovery to the early 21st century. Atlantic history is split between three different contexts: trans-Atlantic history, meaning the international history of the Atlantic World; circum-Atlantic history, meaning the transnational history of the Atlantic World; and cis-Atlantic history within an Atlantic context. The Atlantic slave trade continued into the 19th century, but the international trade was largely outlawed in 1807 by Britain. Slavery ended in 1865 in the United States and in the 1880s in Brazil (1888) and Cuba (1886). While some scholars stress that the history of the "Atlantic World" culminates in the "Atlantic Revolutions" of the late 18th early 19th centuries, the most influential research in the field examines the slave trade and the study of slavery, thus in the late-19th century terminus as part of the transition from Atlantic history to globalization seems most appropriate.

Slavery in Africa Slave trade and various forms of slavery in historical Africa

Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa, and still continues today in some African countries.

Igbo people in the Atlantic slave trade

The Igbo, whose traditional territory is called the Bight of Biafra, became one of the principal ethnic groups to be enslaved during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. An estimated 14.6% of all slaves were taken from the Bight of Biafra between 1650 and 1900. The Bight’s major slave trading ports were located in Bonny and Calabar. The majority of Igbo slaves were kidnapped during village raids. The journey for Igbo slaves often began in the ancient Cave Temple that was located in Arochukwu Kingdom. During this period, the three Igbo Kingdoms followed the same culture and religion, yet tended to operate very differently from each other. The Kingdom of Nri and the Independent Igbo States did not practice slavery, and slaves from neighbouring lands would often flee to these kingdoms in order to be set free. Arochukwu, on the other hand, practiced a system of indentured servitude that was remarkably different to chattel slavery in the Americas. Eventually, with Europeans beginning to encroach on Igbo territory, causing the kingdoms to desire weaponry to defend themselves. In order to obtain European goods and weaponry, Arochukwu began to raid villages of the other Igbo kingdoms - primarily those located in the Igbo hinterlands. People would be captured, regardless of gender, social status, or age. Slaves could have been originally farmers, nobility, or even people who had committed petty crimes. These captured slaves would be taken and sold to the British on the coast. Another way people were enslaved was through the divine oracle who resided in the Cave Temple complex. All Igbos practiced divination called Afa, but the Kingdom of Arochukwu was different because it was headed by a divine oracle who was in charge of making decisions for the king. During this time, if someone committed a crime, was in debt, or did something considered an "abomination", they would be taken to the cave complex to face the oracle for sentencing. The oracle, who was also influenced by the British, would sentence these people to slavery, even for small crimes. The victim would be commanded to walk further into the cave so that the spirits could "devour" them, but, in reality, they were taken to an opening on the other side and loaded directly onto a waiting boat. This boat would take them to a slave ship en route to the Americas.

Capture of the <i>Veloz Passagera</i>

The Capture of Veloz Passagera was a single ship action that occurred during the British Royal Navy's anti-slavery blockade of Africa in the early and mid 19th century. The sloop-of-war HMS Primrose, of 18 guns, under Captain William Broughton, captured the 20-gun Cuban slave ship Veloz Passagera, Jozé Antonio de la Vega, master.

The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership is a research centre of the University College, London which focuses on revealing the impact of British slavery and, in particular, the implications of the Slave Compensation Act 1837. It is based on "two earlier projects based at UCL tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: the ESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project (2009-2012), and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and Significance of British Caribbean Slave-ownership 1763-1833 (2013-2015)"

Tarleton was launched in 1796 at Liverpool for Tarleton & Co., a Liverpool firm that had been in the slave trade for three generations. She made two full voyages as a slaver before she was wrecked on a third voyage in late 1798. On her first voyage she repelled attacks by two French privateers in single-ship actions.

Isaac Hobhouse was an English slave trader, merchant, and member of the Society of Merchant Venturers. Based in Bristol, he was at the centre of money, trade, and credit and acquired much of his fortune through the trade and exploitation of African slaves in the 18th century.

Iris was launched at Liverpool as a slaver. In all she made eight voyages (1783-1800) carrying slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean. She also made one voyage for the British East India Company (EIC) to Bengal and back (1795-1796). She was condemned in Jamaica in December 1800 as unseaworthy.

Byam was a snow launched at Oban, or possibly Padstow, in 1800. She made four voyages trading slaves between West Africa and the West Indies before the French captured and burnt her in late 1807 or early 1808 as she was about to deliver slaves on her fifth voyage.

Hannah was built at Liverpool in 1786. She made six complete voyages as a slave ship. French frigates captured her in 1794 as she was sailing to West Africa outward bound on her seventh slave trading voyage.

African Queen was built at Folkstone in 1780, though almost surely under a different name. She became a slave ship in 1792 and made two complete slave voyages. On her first slave voyage she suffered a high mortality, both among her slaves and her captains and crew. A privateer captured her in 1795 as she was on her way to Jamaica with slaves while on her third slave trading voyage.

Windsor Castle was launched at Whitby. Initially she was primarily a West Indiaman. Then from 1797 she made five voyages as a slave ship and foundered off Bermuda in 1803 after having disembarked her slaves.

The African Origins project is a database run by researchers at Emory University, Georgia, United States, which aims to document all the known facts about the African diaspora, including all documentary material pertaining to the transatlantic slave trade. It is a sister project to Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

Jane was launched at Liverpool in 1805. An explosion destroyed her in 1806 on her first voyage as a slave ship.

Amphitrite's origins are obscure. She first appeared in Lloyd's Register in 1789. Her entry notes that she had been almost rebuilt in 1783 and had undergone a good repair in 1788, presumably under a different name. From 1789 to 1799 she was a whaler in the Northern (Greenland) Whale Fishery. She then started on a voyage as a slave ship but capsized off the coast of Africa.

Nile was built in Spain in 1786 and was taken in prize. She first appears in readily accessible British records in 1800. She made three voyages as a slave ship, foundering on her third after having disembarked her slaves.

Old Dick was launched at Bermuda in 1789. She sailed to England and was lengthened n 1792. From 1792 on she made two full voyages as a Liverpool-based slave ship. On her second she recaptured two British merchant ships. She was lost in 1796 at Jamaica after having landed her third cargo of slaves.

Prince was launched at Bristol in 1785 as Alexander and then made two complete voyages as a slave ship. Her owners changed her name to Prince in 1787. As Prince, she made six more complete voyages as a slave ship. She foundered in 1800 as she was returning to England from her ninth, having delivered slaves to Jamaica.


  1. "New Website to Trace Origins of Enslaved Africans". Emory University. April 25, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  2. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Estimates